River’s Way was founded in 1993 and established as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit corporation in 1994. Our mission is enabling people of differing abilities to make significant contributions to their community


In 2015, the River’s Way Board of Directors made a decision to move from our property site on the South Holston River in Bluff City. All of our operations are now community based including team building programs, gardening programs, fitness programs at the Bristol Family YMCA, summer camps at Sugar Hollow Park, Downtown Internships, Ballad Health Internships, Cafe Central and our adventure programs where we continue to make use of the many opportunities our region has to offer.  Our community based focus allows us to offer a range of programming that promotes the development of workforce soft skills.  Many employer surveys indicate that these skills are critical to success on the job and this is certainly true for the youth and young adults of differing abilities who are involved with River’s Way.  Workforce soft skills include such attributes as staying on task, helping others, staying positive and following directions.  Our hands on programs provide perfect opportunities to develop these skills in settings that are challenging, fun filled and supportive. 

River’s Way is served by two full time staff.  Tom Hanlon has been the Executive Director for 25 years. Matt Kyle has been the Program Director for four years and a River's Way employee for eight years.  River’s Way also employs up to 12 part time staff. Come by and visit us in our office on at 10 6th Street in Bristol, TN.  Learn more about River’s Way and the work that we do to support people of differing abilities in our area!